Parallax Views w/ J.G. Michael

A Journalist Vs. the CIA in Federal Court w/ Jefferson Morley

July 28, 2021

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On this edition of Parallax Views, former Washington Post journalist Jefferson Morley took on the Central Intelligence Agency in federal court for a daunting 16 years. Morley struggles related to the release of files around the JFK assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald, an enigmatic figure known as George Joannides, and the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. He details all this in his new book Morley V CIA: My Unfinished JFK Investigation. But this isn't simply a book about the JFK assassination. It's not about who pulled the trigger. It's not claiming LBJ was the culprit, rhat the CIA set up the whole thing, or anything like that. Instead, it's really a book about state secrecy vs. state transparency. You may have no interest in the Kennedy assassination, BUT it has become the symbol of the public's ever-escalating distrust in various institutions. As such, figures who were firmly in the "Lee Harvey Oswald was the Lone Nut Assassin of JFK" offered their support to Morley's lawsuit. Among them are Gerald Posner and, perhaps most famously, Vincent Bugliosi. JFK researchers like David Talbot and Anthony Summers also lent their support. Why? Well, the argument goes that the national security state making these decades old documents public would restore trust in their institutions.

For years, Jefferson Morley, with the help of his lawyer Jim Lesar, fought against the CIA for the declassification. They won many cases. But eventually a figure came into the picture that would change all of that. He was initially supportive, but open being on the cusp of a Supreme Court nomination changed his tune. That figure was Brett Kavanaugh. Yes, folks, this episode is going to be a rather interesting foray into issues related to FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) documents, state secrecy, and the tax-paying public's right to transparency from their government. Even if you're not at all interested in the JFK assassination, this Kafka-esque story should hold your attention. And it turns out the documents Morley turned up may impart lessons about U.S. foreign policy towards Cuba that would go unheeded as we headed into the Iraq War under President George W. Bush. Also what can Morley's case tell us about how th federal courts potentially block democracy. All that and more on this edition of Parallax Views!

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